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Is Evolution Scientific?

Of course every evolutionist will claim that Darwin’s explanation of how, and why, we are here, is totally scientific, but is it? Darwin was indeed a passable scientist, and considering the level of technology of his day his book 'Of the origin of the Species' was a work of genius, however because of the limitations of the then technology, there was so much he got wrong. However even in Darwin's day, evolution was not a new idea, The earliest emergence of the idea arose in the period of the ancient Greeks where it was taught that man evolved from fish, and animals evolved from plants; however these ideas did not catch on. The reasons that the fish and plant theory did not catch on was not because it was ridiculous but because an alternative theory became popular, Spontaneous Generation. Spontaneous Generation purported that all life sprang spontaneously from mud and slime and was sponsored by such great names as Aristotle in 400 BC. Spontaneous Generation made the same mistake as Darwin, they were limited in what they could see.

The process of evolution is defined as, 'the developmental progression from one form to another by adapting to environmental changes or capitalizing on advantageous mutations toward a positive result', and this is known as 'The Theory of Evolution'. So first let us look at what a 'theory' actually is. defines a theory as:


[thee-uh-ree, theer-ee] Show IPA

noun, plural the·o·ries.

a  coherent group of tested general propositions, commonly regarded as correct, that can be used as principles of explanation and prediction for a class of phenomena: Einstein's theory of relativity.

  • a proposed explanation whose status is still conjectural and subject to experimentation, in contrast to well-established propositions that are regarded as reporting matters of actual fact.

So firstly it is a coherent group of tested propositions, regarded as correct. Well evolution is certainly regarded as correct in the western world; but not universally. As to being tested, I am not sure how the theory has been tested, evolution certainly cannot be tested under laboratory conditions, and it certainly has not been tested in the field or observed. Richard Dawkins ex Oxford professor and self-styled high priest of evolution, admits this is so,

“Evolution has been observed. It’s just that it hasn’t been observed while it’s happening.” When asked what he mean by “it's been observed?” He answered, “The consequences of... It is rather like a detective coming on a murder after the scene. And you… the detective hasn't actually seen the murder take place, of course. But what you do see is a massive clue. Now, any detective…”

The interviewer prompted, Circumstantial evidence.

To which DAWKINS replied, Circumstantial evidence, but masses of circumstantial evidence. Huge quantities of circumstantial evidence. It might as well be spelled out in words of English. Evolution is true. I mean it's as circumstantial as that, but it's as true as that.”

So the person who is probably the most high profile proponent of evolution admits that it cannot be observed, and therefore cannot be tested. Circumstantial evidence is not proof, it leads only to an opinion or an hypothesis. I wonder how many people have been wrongly convicted in a court of law, on circumstantial evidence. If the 'theory' cannot be tested then as a theory it falls at the first hurdle.

But what of the evidence itself, surely evidence, circumstantial or not will prove something. We of course have the fossil record, does this not prove that evolution actually happened, yes it can do, but it can also suggest other options, it is a matter of interpretation, because the fossil record is a snapshot in time, and it varies depending where you are in the world.

The picture on the left shows a man on a ladder, it is, if you like, a snapshot in time, at that moment when the picture was taken the man was at that point on the ladder.  The question is, is the man ascending or descending the ladder?  Can we actually tell if he is climbing up or down, there are no other clues to help us with the decision.  This is also the case with the fossil record, what we see when we dig fossils from the earth is a snapshot in time, so generally it can be interpreted in any way we like in order to fit our view of world history.  However we do have a strong clue to how the fossils were laid in the ground.  For a fossil to be created we need certain conditions to be met.

  • Firstly the animal has to die, obviously.

  • Secondly that animal needs to be covered in some way, this is to avoid carrion eaters and the inevitable bacteria rotting the carcass away.

  • Thirdly, the carcass needs to be covered by a substance that excludes oxygen but includes many minerals, these will be exchanged for the cellular structure of the animal or plant to create the fossil.  

We also have cast-fossils, in this process the animal or plant rots away very slowly and the cavity within the covering is filled with slightly different covering medium to create a cast of the animal or plant.  The other type of fossil is an impression, leaves and plants leave an impression in sedimentary rocks, or a passing animal leaves an impression in mud prior to it being dried and then covered again, until pressure or heat turns it to rock.

So here is the clue, animals, trees plants, insects, fish, all need to be covered by an oxygen excluding medium very quickly after death (normal dry conditions do not allow for this).  Fossils tend to appear very suddenly in the geological column, what is known as the Cambrian Explosion, very, very few fossils appear below that level.  Now we need to ask the question, using these clues in conjunction with the fossil record, which interpretation fits best, slow evolution, or the catastrophe of a flood?  How would you interpret this?